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Old 10-01-2019, 11:41 AM
JurisCani JurisCani is offline
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Default Best .357 Mag COMMERCIAL ammo for lever action?



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I do not currently hand load (I intend to in the near future) so I am currently interested in any one's thoughts on the best (for lack of a better term) commercial .357 mag ammo for hunting, and the same question for self-defense from a lever action.

The lever action is not my main self-defense rifle (AR-15 has that covered) I just want to maximize my lever gun's capabilities with commercial ammo.

I'll be back later when I'm set up for hand loading with more questions.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:09 PM
Outpost75 Outpost75 is offline
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Great question!

For RIFLE use in a barrel longer than 16 inches I would absolutely standardize on a 158-grain bullet, not the lighter ones. JHP bullets lighter than 158 grains are more fragile and are designed to expand at lower velocity as obtained from a short revolver barrel. At the higher velocity (about 2000 fps) obtained from a rifle a 125-grain JHP bullet will likely come apart and fail for penetration.

A 158-grain JHP in .357 gives 1700 fps or more from a rifle and is more sturdy in construction. It is a good choice for personal defense from a rifle if you want violent expansion and maximum damage, but adequate soft target penetration. A 158-grain soft point is better if you anticipate having to shoot through resistant cover such as auto glass, or doors or in killing larger game weighing well over 100 pounds where you need maximum penetration. Good 158-grain softpoints in a .357 carbine at short ranges within 50 yards perform fairly similar to a .30-30 rifle firing factory loads, but performance falls off rapidly beyond about 100 yards. While you can "hit", once velocity decays below about 1300 fps (100 yds) JHP bullets perform better than soft points. At 200 yards energy is similar to firing .38 Special +P from a 6" revolver and even JHPs will not expand appreciably.

If you have both a rifle and revolver in .357, I would standardize on one .357 load, and get a name brand, 158-grain jacketed HP from CCI, Federal, Speer, Remington, Winchester, etc. Use .38 Special 158-grain lead SWC ammo for practice, small game, etc. Table below shows typical trajectory from a rifle and the video shows typical performance of .357 ammo fired from a rifle.

.357 Magnum, Remington Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point, 158 grain from 18-inch Marlin 1894C

Yds___Drop____FPS___Ft.-lbs.
0___-0.9866___1734__1055
25__ 0.6381___1619___919
50__1.4322___1510___800
75__1.2718___1409___696
100_0.0153___1316___607
125_-2.4965__1234____534
150_-6.4361__1163___474
175_-11.9826_1103___427
200_-19.3130_1055___390

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Old 10-01-2019, 01:27 PM
JurisCani JurisCani is offline
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Thanks so much for the info. I have a 20 inch Rossi M92. I haven't shot it much but it was a hoot when I did, and quite accurate. I also have a companion 4" Ruger Security Six to pair with it so to speak. Both stainless, btw


Btw, I think you may have left out a digit for FPS at 125 yards in your chart, btw - not that 1230 to 1239 FPS difference really matters!
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:41 PM
goat daddy goat daddy is offline
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SWC projectiles don't feed well in my winchester 94. I loaded some 158 and 180 gr Remington soft points and hollow points. They both feed well. Cast round nose and the "cowboy" flat round nose also feed well. If you load the first round directly into the barrel it doesn't matter what you shoot. As pointed out above the lighter projectiles may be prone to fragmenting and lack penetration at higher velocity. I kind of stopped using the winchester when I bought the Ruger 77/357. California requires non-lead projectiles so I use Barnes projectiles. I reload and have never ran factory ammo through them. 357 is my favorite round for both pistol and rifle. I'll be carrying the Ruger, Thursday when I head up to gather fire wood and look for a deer
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:25 PM
Preacherboy Preacherboy is offline
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It depends what you are wanting to do.

Extend the range as long as possible? Then get Hornady Leverevolution.

If you are going bear hunting or some other thick skinned game then get some solids from Buffalo Bore or Underwood.

If you are deer hunting the Hornaday should be fine or a 180gr hollow point. If it is sell defense almost anything will work out of that gun.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:49 PM
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The best will be from Underwood or Buffalo Bore
This will get you around 1,200 ft lbs
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=287
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:18 AM
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Easy feeding is important. Try all the ammo you can. Sometimes you can tune the action to make some work really slick. 38 Special might work better or worse, you just have to test.

Load your own is the best, because you can dial in accuracy besides feeding. Plus you can load down to like big pellet gun for shooting grouse out of the tree of sitting bunnies without blowing them to pieces.

I wouldn't load any hotter than what a pistol can stand pressure wise - but due to the longer barrel and perhaps more slower burning powder you can get a lot more velocity. In the energy equation velocity is a squared term, on paper energy isn't always the best answer.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:54 PM
superflux superflux is offline
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charliemeyer007 ,
What can one do to "tune the action" on a Marlin?
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:16 PM
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It's gunsmithing, not gun assembling. Fitting parts is an acquired skill. So the issue is to get the ammo pointed properly at the the center of chamber. You can use a Dremel tool to grind away material on the lifter or you can braze/high temp silver solder material to the lifter. Sometimes you need to do both in different spots. You can also adjust the lifter position by altering the hole it pivots on or the stops.

I would start with finding or making the ammo it shoots most accurately with, then carefully watch the cycling operation and see what needs to be done to smooth out the chambering process.

Epoxy is a good test for adding material. No permanent damage, you add too much and then file it away until the rifle feeds correctly. Then remove all of it and add real metal.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:40 PM
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Simple- Federal AE 158 gr JSP.

The best multipurpose and low cost .357 load on the market.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:28 AM
Snyper708 Snyper708 is offline
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No one can tell you what will be "best" in your particular rifle.
Just try lots of different things and let the rifle tell you.

When you find loads the gun likes, then stock up on those.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:17 PM
Jeepdriver Jeepdriver is offline
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I have a Rossi 92 carbine and use Federal 158gr JSP in my rifle. I have had zero problems with using JSP ammo and it cycles just fine.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JurisCani View Post
I do not currently hand load (I intend to in the near future) so I am currently interested in any one's thoughts on the best (for lack of a better term) commercial .357 mag ammo for hunting, and the same question for self-defense from a lever action.

The lever action is not my main self-defense rifle (AR-15 has that covered) I just want to maximize my lever gun's capabilities with commercial ammo.

I'll be back later when I'm set up for hand loading with more questions.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
I have used several different commercial 357 mag loads for hunting often.

In terms of best terminal effects within the rather limited range of a 357 mag rifle......

180 grain Win Supreme Partition gold is the hands down best for hunting deer and feral pigs...so it would also make for an excellent choice for SD.
Bad news is that it might be discontinued.

Federal 180gr powershock is another load that is excellent for hunting or SD.

11B
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:57 AM
America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
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I would stay away from semi-jacketed. I have two levers that just hate to feed the damn things. Mine love to eat FMJ and JHP only.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:39 AM
Arch Stanton Arch Stanton is offline
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American Eagle round tips seem to cycle best. Anything with an alluminum/alloy shell won't cycle correctly for long. Pointed tips and hollows sometimes don't cycle as well but it depends on the gun.
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